Inside Story: The Fashion Labels That Hire Prisoners And Help Reform Lives

by MR Magazine Staff

Jailed nine years ago for stealing lorries, Sergio is adamant he won’t join the long line of ex-offenders heading back into Mexico’s notoriously violent, overcrowded prison system. Re-offending rates in the country stand at 44 percent. Sergio’s chances might be better than most. After leaving jail three months ago, he joined Prison Art, a social enterprise operating in six prisons in the states of Guadalajara and Queretaro to make high-end textile goods. “Leaving prison, my only option apart from this was a minimum-wage job some place. With Prison Art, I can work from home and the pay allows me to look after my mother and daughter,” Sergio says. Prison Art sells bags, wallets, belts and other accessories in 11 shops around Mexico, as well as internationally online. The designs are inspired by tattooing, an art form that the social enterprise’s founder Jorge Cueto-Felgueroso became familiar with during the 11 months he spent in a Guadalajara prison awaiting trial for fraud. Read more at The Guardian.